Japan’s central bank keeps monetary policy but hints at possible rate cut

TOKYO, Japan’s central bank maintained its monetary easing measures on Thursday, but indicated that it may cut interest rates in the future if necessary.

At the end of a two-day policy meeting, Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and his eight board colleagues voted by 7 to 2 to keep short-term rates at minus 0.1 percent and long-term rates around zero percent, according to a statement released by the BOJ.

The central bank will also continue to buy the government bonds to increase its holdings at an annual pace of about JPY 80 trillion (USD 736 billion) and exchange-traded funds at JPY 6 trillion (USD 55 billion) respectively, it said.

But the BOJ adopted a new forward guidance for the policy rates, sending a signal to markets that it may take additional easing measures if necessary, to boost the economy.

“The central bank expects short- and long-term interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels as long as it is necessary to pay close attention to the possibility that the momentum toward achieving the price stability target will be lost,” it said.

The decision came after US Federal Reserve lowered rates on Wednesday for the third time this year to strengthen the American economy amid ongoing trade disputes and a global economic slowdown.

Source: Kuwait News Agency